TOKYO Japanese steel exports fell in February from the previous month but were sharply higher than a year earlier as producers reaped the benefits of a weakening Japanese currency.
Steel exports totaled 3.63 million tonnes, down 0.7 percent from January but up 12.6 percent from February last year, according to the latest Japan Iron and Steel Federation data.
The monthly drop was led by a 16.2-percent decrease in exports of semifinished product, offset by a 22.7-percent jump in specialty steel products to 642,625 tonnes. Also recording shipment gains were carbon steel products, up 0.1 percent to 2.34 million tonnes, cold-rolled coil (up 25.9 percent) and galvanized sheet (up 0.8 percent). However, decreases were seen in hot-rolled coil (down 1.7 percent) and heavy plate (off 13.8 percent).
Exports to South Korea totaled 607,154 tonnes, down 5.4 percent from January and 8.5 percent from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, imports fell for a fifth consecutive month to 516,794 tonnes in February, down 18.1 percent from the previous month and 14.3 percent from a year earlier.
Imports from South Korea of 256,721 tonnes were down 9.1 percent from January and 11.6 percent from February last year.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.